Today, hundreds of fast food workers in New York City are walking off the job in an attempt to pressure corporations to give them a living wage and to allow them to form a union.
There are walkouts in other cities in the country, including in Chicago and St. Louis, and the walkout is backed by many groups like the Service Employees International Union. SEIU president Mary Key Henry told the Washington Post, "SEIU members, like all service-sector workers, are worse off when large fast-food and retail companies are able to hold down wages and push down benefit standards for working people."
One employee at a Brooklyn McDonald's, Kareem Starks, 30, told Salon, "I might be doing the work of three people... but still getting paid one wage." Starks, who previously worked for the Parks Department, explained it's "been hard trying to live off the minimum wage, $7.25, and support my two kids plus pay rent."
McDonald's says, "The majority of McDonald’s restaurants across the country are owned and operated by independent business men and women where employees are paid competitive wages, and have access to flexible schedules and quality, affordable benefits." They also have this condescending budget journal and franchise owners who don't fix broken AC units during heat waves.
Update: Congressman Nadler will be at the Burger King on Fulton Street in lower Manhattan at noon to stand with workers. He says, "Companies like Burger King and McDonald's are part of a $200 billion industry, but pay their workers so little that many of them qualify for food stamps and other forms of government assistance. American taxpayers should not be forced to pick up the tab for some of America’s largest corporations. Such a profitable company in such a booming industry should pay its workers enough for them to afford at least the basic necessities. Fast food workers deserve a reasonable wage and the right to form a union without punishment. It’s what’s right for America’s economy and it’s what’s right for America’s workers."